It has been a month since I reverted. So far good things were coming, host family visit from Malaysia, best friend’s wedding ceremony, and meeting up again with precious friends in Tokyo. As I was wondering how do I tell to my Japanese friends about my revert, it turned out when my friends know that I reverted to Islam through Facebook or seeing me with hijab, they respect my decision and wishes me all the best like they did to me with other life choices on our friendship. Together with it, my friends ask me about how is my Muslim life in Japan.
When I was able to meet my Malaysian friend in Tokyo, she is like my sister (kak in Malay), and it has been almost two years since we had met last time. She is also the one congrats my revert and asks me about life as Muslim in japan.
Kak: Risa, How is life as Muslim in Japan?
Me: Hummm. It is not easy. I would say.
What I meant during the time was the appearance as Muslimah with Hijab is outstandingly different in the homogeneous society in Japan catches people’s eyes on it which I feel difficult somehow.
After the talk with her, however, I kept thinking “is it really not an easy life as Muslim in Japan?” so I try to remember what was not easy for me.
1, Hijab: Mostly I do concern people’s eyes on me especially when I take a train. I am afraid people will disturb me from my appearance but so far I don’t have a negative experience. Also, I realized that I feel good about the fact I was able to keep my faith after I completed my day with Hijab. I simply feel great that I do things that Allah likes. Surprisingly, unlike my expectation, when I meet my Japanese friends they say “Kawaii!” on my hijab. Even they are curious on hijab ask me how do I wear it and so on.
2, Prayer: Now it is hard for me to recite Al Faatiha in Arabic during prayers also follows five prayers in a day as I am not used to it yet. But this frustration leads me to study Arabic alphabet every day for improving reading even just short time like fifteen minutes in a day and try to figure out my lifestyle and changing behavior to fit myself for prayer times.
3, Eating: It is true that I have limited choices when I am outside as I need to concern what I eat in this non Islamic city, Tokyo. But we do have choices as the number of halal certified restaurant is increasing in Tokyo. Also ever since I officially become to be a Muslim my mother suggest to my dad to eat Halal together with me, previously I was only one eating Halal at home, and they start buying Halal meat not only for me but for my family to enjoy the same meal together.
Try to think logically what exactly was not easy for me always brought me solutions or positive learning process to be patient and how I can keep my faith. Yes, I do have the not-easy experience as revert Muslims in non Islamic country but I do gain something meaningful as I think hard what I can do to one step closer to Allah.
This made me realized that I had labeled the life as Muslim in Japan is not easy unconsciously and it turns out it was too early to judge like that.
Life as Muslim in Japan is amazing for me.